Richard Wallace is breaking down our economy. And not just explaining it–like trying to break it down into pieces and rebuild it more equitably. He’s the founder of Equity and Transformation (EAT), an organization that works with individuals operating in the informal economy to uplift the faces, voices, and power of the vast disenfranchised and excluded Back workforce in Chicago. He’s also a member of the now-defunct but incredibly influential Chicago rap group BBU, and a contributing member to the Hoodoisie.
Cathy Cohen brings the pieces together beautifully. She is a professor at UChicago, a long-time organizer, a founding board member and former co-chair of the board of the Audre Lorde Project in NY, on the board of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press as well as the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at CUNY, and the founder of Black Youth Project, a website devoted to Black youth from which BYP-100 emerged. She is also truly the big homie. We learned so much in this one–come learn with us.
Jamie Kalven fights for his neighbors. He’s a journalist, human rights worker, and founder of the Invisible Institute, a journalism production studio based on 62nd and Dorchester. He comes into the studio ready to swing through the years with Damon and Daniel, and shares his thoughts on guerilla journalism, his years working out of an apartment at Parkway Gardens, transparency and data, and much more. Definitely a deep dive!
Southpaw Swade is a mensch, to get Yiddish about it. The Florida-born, Chicago-based rapper and producer shares podcast space with a grace not often seen, and is truly a joy to talk to. He recently put out his Three Piece EP, which is available everywhere. Get tuned in, and make sure to stay tuned at the end for some bonus Hebrew Israelite conversation!
Essence McDowell is a communications strategist, organizer and co-author of Lifting As They Climbed: Mapping a History of Black Women on Chicago’s South Side. Working in collaboration with AirGo alum Mariame Kaba, Lifting As They Climbed maps dozens of locations across Chicago's South Side and connects them to the Black women who have shaped the histories of Chicago. She talks about the project, understanding her role in relation to the archive, and much more!
Odinaka Ezeokoli is a comic, actor, and writer who came into the AirGo studio ready to talk, dig deep, and laugh. He starred in an episode of Easy, the Netflix series by Joe Swanberg that takes place in Chicago; was a central cast member of Brown Girls, the hit web series by Sam Bailey and AirGo alum Fatimah Asghar; and performed in Nothing to Lose But Our Chains, the hit Second City show written by and starring AirGo alum Felonious Munk. Damon and Daniel’s faces hurt from laughing by the end of the episode–true story.
Charlene Carruthers is with the shits. She has served as the founding National Director of BYP-100, an activist member-led organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people, for the last five years, and is the author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. She talks about stepping out of her role at BYP-100, stepping into the next chapter, and much more.
Krista Franklin just might be a whole-ass genius. She's definitely brilliant. The Ohio-born spirit is a poet, visual artist, curator, educator, mentor, and semi-professional hermit who has supported and shaped so many of the people we've interviewed on the show. Her humility and commitment to herself and the people she loves shines through in her poetry, collage, and mentorship. Her transgenre book Under the Knife was released Fall 2018.